Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS -25

Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS -25

I had no intention of buying a camera. I wasn’t looking for myself. Someone else was looking for a camera and I was just doing a little research.When Adorama popped up with a refurbished Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS-25 16.1 MP for under $100, I said “wow.” (There were only two at that price and both have been sold.)

Lazy daisy

Lazy daisy

It came with a Sony 16GB SDHC card and a cute little case (original from Panasonic). It is not new, though it certainly looks and feels new. It’s refurbished by Panasonic and comes with a new camera warranty. Resistance was futile.

I have a legitimate excuse. No jury would convict me.

Day lily, back lit

Day lily, back-lit

My “go everywhere” camera has been the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS-19 and the ZS-25 is essentially the same camera, with a higher resolution. My old camera has a nasty dent on the lens where I gave it a whack about a month ago. So far, it has been okay, but hitting a lens hard enough to dent its case has inevitable repercussions. It doesn’t owe me anything.

The ZS-25 uses the batteries and charger I already own. It’s the same size as its predecessor. So, of course I bought it. Then I had to do a little test drive.

Japanese maple and sunlight

Japanese maple and sunlight

Although the specs make it seem they are the same camera, they are not.

The Leica lens has the same zoom (20X). Both old and new lens are F3.3-F6.4. But the depth of field is different. It’s noticeably shallower working close on the ZS-25 and it has a more attractive bokeh. The color is true — less green, more neutral. It focuses faster and recycles much faster. All useful improvements.

The menus have been simplified and it is noticeably easier to find the functions I use. I like the streamlined controls, too, though I miss the on/off switch. It’s now a button, like every other camera. The view screen has the same specs, but because you can adjust it for varying light conditions, it seems brighter and sharper.

My last red lily

My last red lily

The little ZS-19 has performed yeoman’s service for me. I’ve carried it with me everywhere for two years. It has shot more frames than the rest of my cameras combined.

I am pleased to be able to continue using essentially the same piece of equipment. It suits me well. Compact and light, good lens. Not the longest super-zoom available, but long enough — and wide enough — for most purposes.

My ZS-19 has been a very satisfactory camera and its granddaughter, the ZS-25, seems likely to be equally satisfying. I’m more than pleased.

Camera Effective Pixels 16.1 Megapixels
Sensor Size / Total Pixels / Filter 1/2.33-inch High Sensitivity MOS Sensor / 17.5 Total Megapixels / Primary Color Filter
Lens LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR / 12 elements in 10 groups / (3 Aspherical Lenses / 6 Aspherical surfaces / 2 ED Lens)
Aperture F3.3 – 6.4 / Multistage Iris Diaphragm (F3.3 – 8.0(W), F6.4 – 8.0(T))
Optical Zoom 20x
Focal Length f=4.3 – 86.0mm (24 – 480mm in 35mm equiv.) / (28-560mm in 35mm equiv. in video recording)
Extra Optical Zoom (EZ) 25.3x (4:3 / 10M), 30.0x (4:3 / 7M), 36.0x (4:3 / 5M), 45.0x (under 3M)
Intelligent Zoom 40x

ANOTHER ONE JUST LIKE THE OTHER ONE: PANASONIC LUMIX DMC ZS-25

20 thoughts on “ANOTHER ONE JUST LIKE THE OTHER ONE: PANASONIC LUMIX DMC ZS-25

  1. Yes, I don’t want to use post-processing at all (and have not to date.).I don’t need that bokeh result myself either, since am mostly taking travel photos, but would like to try, say for portraits. I guess the fact you are so close to the subject compared to the background makes the dof limits kick in more effectively.

    My main question though was about the detail and sharpness, in general. My first digital camera was a Canon A530 now over ten years old, which I just replaced with this Lumix. It seems to me that the Canon photos are sharper with more detail, in general, which is disappointing (its only 5 megapixel, but its sensor is the same (puny) size). I then noticed quite a few people complaining about the SZ25, so I was looking around. Your photos are nice, but its hard to say about sharpness since the versions you posted are so low resolution. So I was hoping for some comments on that.

    I personally don’t see the point of a huge number of pixels if the photos are all getting blurry or noisy long before one even reaches the point where one can see pixels.

    I think the A530 was a great camera, perhaps the best for the price, but its pretty obsolete now for most features (doesnt even taken SDHC cards)

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    • I had the A630 which was the last A-series camera Canon made. I’ve been going back and trying to redo some of the photos I took using it. They are significantly less sharp than the pictures I get with the ZS-200 I use now as my long zoom camera. I think the later models … the 25, for example, are not as good. However, I have heard VERY good reports from people I trust on the SZ40 and 50. I use the much bigger and faster 200 now. I’ve written about it too … https://teepee12.com/2016/07/08/when-newer-isnt-better-panasonic-lumix-dmc-fz200/

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      • Thanks for your reply. So you think the ZS25 is not as good as the ZS200. Hmm, I see it has the same puny cmos sensor, but only tries to fit 12 megapixels into it, which makes more sense. But I cannot get another camera, so I am trying to figure out what is going on with the ZS25. Have you seen this “not as good” in terms of the detail and sharpness of images on it, then? In comparison to the ZS200 or the older Canon A series (same size sensor, but ccd and much fewer megapixels).

        I think part of the issue in my case could be that I have been shooting pictures in less than full resolution (7.5Mp for 16×9 rather than 12Mp) That means there has to be downscaling before conversion to jpeg, and downscaling algorithms could have an effect here. So I will try some shots at the full resolution and see what difference different downscaling algorithms make, does that sound like a good idea?

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  2. Did you get that bokeh on the day lily with the camera itself or is it post-processing of some form?

    How do you find the detail and sharpness of photos with a larger size? I have so far been somewhat disappointed with this camera compared to the one I had before.

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    • No, that’s the lens itself. As for post processing, I have filters. I have the NK set (Google) and I have a half dozen of the Topaz filters. All used with Photoshop. Nonetheless, the best pictures come out of the camera looking very close to finished. There’s not amount of software that compensates for a poor captures, only some stuff that helps salvage it.

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    • How close you can get depends on how much the lens is extended, but close enough to see the veins on a flower petal. I took some more pictures day and I’m really impressed with the quality. It’s even better than its predecessor.

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    • It looks like they are discontinuing this and all the other ZS compacts up through ZS30 — leaving only the ZS40 in production — for now, anyhow. I have a feeling they are going to kill the whole line, just like Canon killed the A-series Powershot cameras I loved. This camera is great. Too good to last?

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    • Probably the XS-25 will be gone soon. That’s what the sudden price drop signals. I have bought most of my cameras just before they stopped making them and gotten great deals. I don’t mind being a generation behind — there’s usually not much difference between models and a new model is always more expensive.

      It looks like they are discontinuing all of the ZS compacts, including the ZS-20, ZS-25, and ZS-30. The ZS-40 is still available, but I don’t know for how long.

      That Japanese maple came home with me from Maryland in a bucket, a mere sprig 12 years ago. I’m so proud of it 🙂

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  3. You know, I don’t know much about cameras, but this one sounds like it’s working for you! And my favorite pic today…the last red lily…gorgeous!

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    • It’s a good little camera. Compact, light, easy to use and most important, it takes excellent pictures. Which of course is the bottom line for any camera.

      That’s my last Chinese lily. All the rest died of winter.

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  4. And BTW, I still wonder why these camera manufacturers fail to heed the cry for some kind of view finder for daylight shooting with our little digi-gems. Well I just ordered a device called “Clearviewer” for my Lumix DMC-ZS30. I haven’t received it yet but it screws into the tripod threads and supposedly makes daytime shooting much easier.., and it can stay attached to your camera. Apparently it just folds flat.

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    • I have an add-on optical viewfinder for my Olympuses but I don’t use it much. It turns out eyeglasses and viewfinders don’t go well together. Garry’s camera has a viewfinder and he uses it all the time, but he had cataract surgery and has fighter pilot vision (how ironic!). A tilting view screen is more useful for me and my eyeglasses than a viewfinder, but Garry uses his viewfinder almost exclusively.

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      • I only ordered it for my Lumix ZS30 being as it takes better photos than my little Canon PowerShot 590. I have one for the Olympus and use it from time to time but, you’re right, the tilting display is very convenient.

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